Daysleeper (R.E.M.)

  • 19 Sep 16:38
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"Daysleeper" is a song by R.E.M., released as their first single from their eleventh studio album Up, and the first single to be released by the band since the departure of drummer Bill Berry.

Sleep and dreams have often played an important part in R.E.M. lyrics, for example "Get Up" and "I Don't Sleep, I Dream".

Sung from the point of view of a nightworker corresponding with far eastern colleagues, the song focuses on the disorientation of time and "circadian rhythm" in such a lifestyle, leading to despair and loss of identity.

During R.E.M.'s performance for VH1 Storytellers, Stipe explained the background to the song:

"I was in New York, putting together a book of haikus that I worked on with several dear friends of mine over the course of a year. And I was walking down the steps of this building, it was probably four o’clock in the afternoon, and I come to a door — it’s apartment 3d or something — and there's a sign on it that says "Daysleeper," and I walked a lot more carefully, quietly down the steps, thinking about that poor person who's trying to sleep, and me and my big old boots interrupting her sleep. So I wrote this song about a daysleeper that's working an 11-7 shift...


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